JohnC

Tips on 91 Dodge 5.2L 318 timing chain replacement?

8 posts in this topic

Back when I did a full tune-up on this truck, I couldn't get it to run with the timing marks lined up. By the time I got it running good (at idle), the marks where no where near the factory timing marks. I do notice the truck feels a bit down on power and maybe smells a tad richer than it should be.

So that all said, do you all think the timing chain is stretched? :???:

If so, how difficult is it to do a timing chain replacement on a 1991 Dodge Dakota Sport 4x4 with 5.2L?

Any tips on doing this replacement?

Thanks! :up:

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Typically it would be totaled by then!

So if the chain was stretched, you think the engine would be totaled? :coffee:

Nah, a minor bit out of timing won't hurt it. Especially if it is not an interference fit engine. ;)

If it is an interference fit, then yes, far enough out of timing would result in some PTV contact and engine damage. But I'd be hearing something if that was the case. :yes:

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If it's anything like the 3.9 V6 it's not that bad. Another thing to look at is the distributor gear as well. Dodge used a bronze gear and if it gets too worn then the timing will be all over the place (happened with the ex-FIL's Dakota).

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If it's anything like the 3.9 V6 it's not that bad. Another thing to look at is the distributor gear as well. Dodge used a bronze gear and if it gets too worn then the timing will be all over the place (happened with the ex-FIL's Dakota).

Thanks, Pate!!! I didn't even know to check for that! :love::love::love::up::up::up:

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If it's anything like the 3.9 V6 it's not that bad. Another thing to look at is the distributor gear as well. Dodge used a bronze gear and if it gets too worn then the timing will be all over the place (happened with the ex-FIL's Dakota).

 

After driving this thing today, it got me thinking again.

 

I did notice some minor movement at idle in the distributor last time I looked at it. Guess I need to pull it out and check it. Any tips? Just visual of distributor gear wear, or cam wear?

 

Also tried to give the engine a good blowout. Floored it on a closed course and it seemed it didn't have the power to get past 90-95 MPH. I expected it to pull to redline, but I think it was stuck someplace close to 4,000-ish rpm's.

 

Gas mileage is horrible. Last fill-up I got about 13.5 MPG, but that was driving it harder than normal. I bet babying it would only get 15mpg if I was lucky.

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Any chance its just the stock balancer spun a bit (very very common) making the timing marks worthless?  It happened on both my Mustangs and the truck and is worth a look if you have a quick minute to mess with it.  Find somethin to use as a piston stopper (either a bolt thats the same thread as the sparkplug or even a screwdriver if your careful to make sure the piston stops at the same spot every time.  Insert it into the #1 plug hole and turn the motor clockwise by hand until it stops on the stopper.  Mark the balancer where the timing pointer is with WhiteOut or a Sharpie.  Spin the motor the other way until it hits the stopper and mark again.  Do this a couple times back and forth to try and get similar results.  Then measure the distance between the two marks and divide by 2 (halfing the distance).  This is your new timing mark and should help get you lined up for setting the timing.  If your new mark lines up with the factory mark on the balancer, then it hasnt walked at all and you can move on. 


 


Matt


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